City moving toward gas aggregation

By Scott Halasz - [email protected]

XENIA — Xenia residents are going to be able to save some money on natural gas through aggregation.

City Manager Brent Merriman signed a contract with Volunteer to provide gas for 24 months at a fixed rate of $3.71 per thousand cubic feet (MCF), which will save the community around $340,000 annually or approximately $65 per household, based on the current price-t0-compare.

“The savings could be higher if the market tightens and the price-to-compare increases, which we expect it will,” Merriman said in an email.

Aggregation was first approved by voters in November 2005, giving the city permission to use aggregation when appropriate, like it does for electricity.

City Council during its June 27 meeting gave City Manager Brent Merriman the OK to execute an aggregation contract if a supplier can be found to offer citizens savings on their bills.

According to city documents, the city went through several request for proposal (RFP) processes, with the most recent one dated May 31, 2019 showing four suppliers able to provide natural gas at a savings to residential and some commercial users. At that time, Volunteer offered the lowest at 3.89/MCF, but that price went down more in a price refresh received by the city July 2.

Participation in the aggregation program is voluntary and every eligible customer will have the opportunity to decline to be a participant (or “opt out”) and remain with their current supplier through Vectren, or to enter into a natural supply contract with another supplier. There are no contracts or termination fees.

Merriman said the public will not hear details on the opt-out until September when letters will be sent out by the supplier. The actual change over to the aggregate supplier will occur in November for the December billing cycle.

Volunteer is family owned and has been in business for more than 25 years, serving customers in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, according to its website.

By Scott Halasz

[email protected]

Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.

Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.